Have you heard of Phenix?
Yes, it is the mythological bird that possesses an extraordinary force, and capable of rising from the ashes. But it is also the name of a project with immense strength to change mentalities and help the planet to rise from the ashes where, unfortunately, it is.
Eurico Estêvão, responsible for the Communication and Events Department at Phenix Portugal, introduced us to the project that works in the area of food and non-food waste. They work every day so that one day, we reach the “level of zero food waste”
Curious? Enter in the world of Phenix with us!
The Phenix project emerged…
… ”in France in 2014, with two young people who were faced with a job market very turned to profit, deciding to create a company that had above all, a social motivation.”
These two young people created the project based on their main social concern, the environment, more precisely the existence of surpluses. So, “they decided to create a company that would give these products a second life."
“Although we are a company, our operating philosophy is precisely to reduce food and non-food waste, aiming to achieve zero waste.”
… “is a social and environmental company with the objective of reducing food and non-food waste from large distribution companies."
It acts on different scopes, among which…
… the business aspect that includes consultancy in the area of food and non-food waste, the conversion of breaks (surpluses) in donations and also consultancy in the scope of legislation on these topics.
The work with Social Solidarity Institutions is linked to attracting institutions to act as recipients of surpluses, by establishing communication and mediation of relationships between institutions and chains of large distribution, in order to streamline the donation process.
Finally, but not the least, they also have a free mobile application to avoid food waste in small and medium-sized retailers, restaurants, etc. With this application, participating merchants can place the day’s surpluses there, in the form of baskets, being available for purchase at a reduced price, for the general public.
Phenix Portugal, in addition to Eurico, is managed by…
… Frederico Macedo Santos and Mariana Abreu, CEO and COO of the company, by two regional managers, Nicole Vaz and Rute Lourenço, by Bárbara Rodrigues, who is the company’s app manager and by three business developers, Sofia Barbeiro, Catarina Pereira and Mariana Correia.
This is a project concerned with food sustainability, because…
… one of its main goals is to reduce food waste in large distribution chains.
Currently, the biggest challenge facing Phenix…
… is the lack of a legal framework, “which concerns donations and the destination that is given to surplus production".
In order to get around the situation, they use “as a reference similar practices to other countries, such as France, but also partnerships with entities, such as ASAE (Authority for Food Safety and Economic)".
Changing mentalities and consumption habits…
… is one more of Phenix’s concerns. As such, “we work to train entities with whom we work, in the course of our intervention. Also in this line, we also try to raise awareness in the general public, through informative content on our social networks. “
Both in Portugal and globally, Phenix…
… affirms that there is “a great lack of knowledge on how donations work", but at the same time it is verified that there is a “interest and a strong adherence to change, by the feedback that they have on their mobile app".
To Phenix, for a more sustainable food system, it is necessary,…
… a “greater awareness of the general public, better definition of public policies to fight waste, consumer re education campaigns and a greater and better information about food producers".
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